In their recent article in The Conversation, Stefan Schutt and Rebecca Ng Lye Ee of Victoria University, AU, discuss the fact that significant numbers of youth with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are highly interested in computers. However, little is known about the ways kids with ASD use technology to navigate the challenges of social norms. In an attempt to discover how technology may be used to foster self-worth and promote social connections and interactions, Victoria University researchers became involved in The Lab. The Lab is a network of “technology clubs” that connects school-aged learners with ASD with IT mentors and peers in after-school settings. Similar to “third places” observed by Ray Oldenburg in the 1980s, ideas and thoughts meet to produce new knowledge at The Lab. It provides an opportunity for the types of interaction that may help young people with ASD to develop social skills, which are critical for youth with ASD to experience lifelong positive outcomes.
To learn more about this unique approach to technological usage and social setting creation for the long term benefit of young people with ASD, click here.
with thanks to Sue Fletcher-Watson